Wakame team plans new Lyndale restaurant

Gyu-Kuku Japanese barbeque chain
A long-vacant building at 31st & Lyndale will become the home of Minnesota’s first restaurant in the Gyu-Kuku Japanese barbeque chain. The project is being led by the owners of Wakame Asian Bistro in West Calhoun. Photo by Andrew Hazzard

The owner of Wakame Asian Bistro is planning a new Japanese barbeque restaurant in LynLake.

George Xu, who opened Wakame in West Calhoun in 2009, recently purchased the long-vacant building at 3025 Lyndale Ave. S. and will be working on renovating the space this winter and spring.

In May, he plans to open the first Minnesota location of Gyu-Kaku, a Japanese barbeque chain where meat, seafood and vegetables are grilled at the table by customers.

The Gyu-Kaku chain is popular in Chicago, Xu said, and many of his Wakame customers have told him they are fans of the restaurant.

“I think it’s going to be great,” Xu said.

He was attracted to LynLake because of the area’s increased development and thriving restaurant scene.

“It seems like there’s a lot going on over there,” he said.

Finding a building with a parking lot was also a priority, he said.

Xu plans to keep his focus on Wakame, while his wife and two longtime managers will lead the Gyu-Kuku effort.